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Old 09-21-2021, 02:24 PM   #1
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Help with Peplink Router

This is what I have tested so far.

I have a Peplink UBR LTE Dual-Cellular Router and I have a SIM from FMCA Sprint Connect. I have a chance to pick up the Peplink cheap since he upgrades to CAT 18 Peplink

I loaded the SIM into the router and works but speedtest is around 5 to 7. I tried both slots since Celluar two is supposed to support band 71 and didnít make a difference. The connection shows LTE 3G with 4 bars.

I removed the SIM put it back into the MIFI and configured the Pepllink to use WIFI Wan and connect to the MiFi. Still only get between 5 and 7 on the speed test.

I connect directly to the MIFI and get around 160 on Speedtest.

Something Iím doing wrong?
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:17 PM   #2
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I don’t know that router but have one of the peplink routers.

I was never able to get the FMCA/Sprint Sim to work in the router, officially it is not supported so they won’t help me make it work.

However, I do use the WiFi option to connect the MiFi pack to the Pepwave. I can get speeds running through this setup that are 90% of what I can get when connecting directly to the MiFi. But it depends on which WiFi channels you have configured in the Pepwave. Did you set it up on 5.8 or 2.4? Or is your unit older where it may be running an older/slower WiFi frequency?
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:14 PM   #3
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I think you discovered why your buddy wants to upgrade to the CAT 18 Peplink.

No but really, there are a few potential issues.

1) Peplinks aren't great at connecting to an upstream wifi network and serving out their own wifi network at the same time. There's definitely a performance hit in doing so, but I wouldn't expect it to be so drastic.

2) the UBR has two modems but they're each only CAT-4 which is super old at this point, and your practical max speed isn't great. Even if you bonded the two modems together with SpeedFusion, it won't get you 2x the speed, more like 1.5 at best. Your MiFi is probably at CAT-18 or higher if you're achieving 160 Mbit download speeds. But the CAT-4 modem wouldn't effect its performance when the Peplink is connected to the MiFi as an upstream device.

3) Are you connecting all the antennas to the Peplink? I know they don't like to only have a few connected. Are they connected securely? Sometimes these things get loose immediately after you hand-tighten them.

4) How are you connecting the Peplink to the MiFi? Can you use an ethernet wire to do so? If you're using wifi, with the paddle antennas, some of them are for WiFi and some are for cellular. Do you have them connected to the correct terminals on the Peplink?

5) What environment are you testing the Peplink's cellular connection in? In a cabinet, on a table? Are you using the included cellular paddle antennas or an external antenna?
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MemByTheMile View Post
I donít know that router but have one of the peplink routers.

I was never able to get the FMCA/Sprint Sim to work in the router, officially it is not supported so they wonít help me make it work.

However, I do use the WiFi option to connect the MiFi pack to the Pepwave. I can get speeds running through this setup that are 90% of what I can get when connecting directly to the MiFi. But it depends on which WiFi channels you have configured in the Pepwave. Did you set it up on 5.8 or 2.4? Or is your unit older where it may be running an older/slower WiFi frequency?
I had the same problem but noticed that the FMCA Sprint SIM as autoselect ATT and not T-Mobile (Sprint wasn't an option) and would error trying to get the IP address. After selecting T-Mobile it would connect but at slow speeds. I tried locking out bands and forcing it to use different bands and didn't make difference.

The Pepwave I have can not use both 2.4 and 5.8 at the same time. I selected 5.8 and even tried 2.4 with the same results.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumline View Post
I think you discovered why your buddy wants to upgrade to the CAT 18 Peplink.

No but really, there are a few potential issues.

1) Peplinks aren't great at connecting to an upstream wifi network and serving out their own wifi network at the same time. There's definitely a performance hit in doing so, but I wouldn't expect it to be so drastic.

2) the UBR has two modems but they're each only CAT-4 which is super old at this point, and your practical max speed isn't great. Even if you bonded the two modems together with SpeedFusion, it won't get you 2x the speed, more like 1.5 at best. Your MiFi is probably at CAT-18 or higher if you're achieving 160 Mbit download speeds. But the CAT-4 modem wouldn't effect its performance when the Peplink is connected to the MiFi as an upstream device.

3) Are you connecting all the antennas to the Peplink? I know they don't like to only have a few connected. Are they connected securely? Sometimes these things get loose immediately after you hand-tighten them.

4) How are you connecting the Peplink to the MiFi? Can you use an ethernet wire to do so? If you're using wifi, with the paddle antennas, some of them are for WiFi and some are for cellular. Do you have them connected to the correct terminals on the Peplink?

5) What environment are you testing the Peplink's cellular connection in? In a cabinet, on a table? Are you using the included cellular paddle antennas or an external antenna?
1) I agree that WIFI over WAN that there is some overhead and that it should do perform better. I have a 5-year-old WIFI Ranger Core that outperforms the Pepwave using WAN over WIFI.

2) All I really need is 25 to 50 for watching TV and upload videos I thought CAT 4 modems would at least perform at that level but I guess I was wrong.

3) Yes, all antennas were connected and secure and not touching.

4) I never tried ethernet connect. The antennas have are different sizes so dummy-proof.

5) We used an open table next to a window that faces the cell towers so I don't think was a problem.

Why this solution was so attractive was the ethernet ports that allowing me to connect my Synology Plex server and my Nivida Shield directly to the Peplink. I know I can use a small switch but would be nice to just have one piece of equipment.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:45 AM   #6
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Alright, well you stumped the chump (me). I can't think of anything else that would be causing such a slow speed. My Peplink (Max Transit CAT 18) is often a little slower than my phone in good-signal areas but nowhere near the difference that you're experiencing. And it shares upstream WiFi better than what you described. I've never tried a UBR but I'd certainly expect it to be better than you've seen.

Last guess: factory reset and firmware update?
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Alright, well you stumped the chump (me). I can't think of anything else that would be causing such a slow speed. My Peplink (Max Transit CAT 18) is often a little slower than my phone in good-signal areas but nowhere near the difference that you're experiencing. And it shares upstream WiFi better than what you described. I've never tried a UBR but I'd certainly expect it to be better than you've seen.

Last guess: factory reset and firmware update?
There was a minor point upgraded on the firmware and made no difference. I am a pro at factory resets since I tried all kinds of configurations that made things worse.

How do you like the Max Transit Cat 18? What SIMS are you using? I was told that CAT 18 modem will not support the FMCA Sprint connection and he didn't know if CAT 12 or CAT 6 would support the SIM. I haven't been able to verify that info I got from a Pepwave user.
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:14 AM   #8
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Multiple resets

I had similar weird speed issues with known good sims (verizon and att) on my brand new max transit duo (cat 12 I believe). I tried firmware updates, and after three complete resets, it settled down and I get similar speeds compared to backup equipment, phones, etc on same carriers/locations.

No idea what had happened, 5GStore worked with me on the phone as I bought through them, and recommended the reset, it just took multiples to get it to settle down for me. My 2 cents
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:04 AM   #9
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I do own an ASPEN with CAT 6 modem but it was put in my computer junk box since I couldn't get reliably stay connected without reboot it. I had to reboot twice during my Chiefs Game. They came out major software upgrade and in my opinion made it worse, not better. I went back using the WIFI Ranger Core router which is 5 years old and works great.

I pulled the ASPEN out of the junk box one more time and put the FMCA Sprint SIM into it with the exact same results as the Pepwave router speed test of 5 to 7.

I logged onto Pepware forums and seems to be a common problem with the FMCA Sprint SIM so I have narrowed it down to possibly being the SIM and not the router.

FMCA just announced that all the Sprint SIMS will be replaced with T-Mobile SIMS and the plan will stay the same so maybe after I get the new SIM will work.

I guess I will just have to manage M2000 with 160+ speed tests and my Verizon in a MOFI separately connetions.
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:28 AM   #10
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I had similar weird speed issues with known good sims (verizon and att) on my brand new max transit duo (cat 12 I believe). I tried firmware updates, and after three complete resets, it settled down and I get similar speeds compared to backup equipment, phones, etc on same carriers/locations.

No idea what had happened, 5GStore worked with me on the phone as I bought through them, and recommended the reset, it just took multiples to get it to settle down for me. My 2 cents
I contact a reseller of Pepwave and they told me if I didn't buy from them they don't provide support. I have been in the same position that people mail-order products then want me to configure for free so I understand. But what does burn me is Peplink won't help either without a 99 support contact. I would buy their contract but they won't even comment on the FMCA Sim will work or not. If they would just say it would work buy our support contract and we will get to work for you I would jump on the offer.

I called Mobile Must-Haves to get some info and purchase a Max Transit but their support lines say they will call back within 24 to 48 hours and it's been 36 hours and no callback. Doesn't give much faith in their tech support.

Sounds like you got good tech support out of 5G Store I will give them a call.
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWSWine View Post
This is what I have tested so far.

I have a Peplink UBR LTE Dual-Cellular Router and I have a SIM from FMCA Sprint Connect. I have a chance to pick up the Peplink cheap since he upgrades to CAT 18 Peplink

I loaded the SIM into the router and works but speedtest is around 5 to 7. I tried both slots since Celluar two is supposed to support band 71 and didnít make a difference. The connection shows LTE 3G with 4 bars.

I removed the SIM put it back into the MIFI and configured the Pepllink to use WIFI Wan and connect to the MiFi. Still only get between 5 and 7 on the speed test.

I connect directly to the MIFI and get around 160 on Speedtest.

Something Iím doing wrong?
A couple of things to clarify. 3G and LTE are different. LTE is 4G technology. If the router is using 3G it will be much slower.

Also, T Mobile is using more than just Band 71 as their new bands. They also use 25,26,41 and 66 not to mention the 5G bands that have a "n" in front of them, (n71 ect). So you need to find out exactly what bands are included in your Peplink router.

And there is most likely several cell towers around you, and the signal will switch from band to band depending on the strength of the cell.

There are a few good cell phone apps to help you sort out what towers are broadcasting on what bands. I use a few, but one good one is "LTE Discovery" in the Play Store. All the new technology is creating a whole new maze of cellular signals.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:18 PM   #12
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A couple of things to clarify. 3G and LTE are different. LTE is 4G technology. If the router is using 3G it will be much slower.

Also, T Mobile is using more than just Band 71 as their new bands. They also use 25,26,41 and 66 not to mention the 5G bands that have a "n" in front of them, (n71 ect). So you need to find out exactly what bands are included in your Peplink router.

And there is most likely several cell towers around you, and the signal will switch from band to band depending on the strength of the cell.

There are a few good cell phone apps to help you sort out what towers are broadcasting on what bands. I use a few, but one good one is "LTE Discovery" in the Play Store. All the new technology is creating a whole new maze of cellular signals.
I agree on the bands and Pepwave has an option to disable bands. I went down the list disable the band I was connected to force another connect to another band with the same results. The router has band 71 without the "N" and I was able to connect to it but again the same results. It is a CAT 4 modem so yes speeds are going to be slower but I believe should be above 7 on the speed test but of course, I could be wrong.

I check Pepwave forums and looks like some can't get to work at all and the ones that do are extremely slow even with the CAT 12 and CAT 18 with the FMCA Sprint Sim card. Several were told to call Tech Support and that was the last post so I don't know if tech support got working or not.

I just called the 5G store and they were very helpful and said it 'Should" work and he knew of no reason why it wouldn't. He also said if doesn't work there is a 20% restocking fee for returns.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I contact a reseller of Pepwave and they told me if I didn't buy from them they don't provide support. I have been in the same position that people mail-order products then want me to configure for free so I understand. But what does burn me is Peplink won't help either without a 99 support contact. I would buy their contract but they won't even comment on the FMCA Sim will work or not. If they would just say it would work buy our support contract and we will get to work for you I would jump on the offer
This is just a casual observation of mine but I think you're running into the reality that Peplink make great products but they're not really setup or intended for the retail market. I think most of their business is commercial stuff like public transit, emergency services etc. Any significant deal probably has a technical consulting company involved and the relationship with the carriers is quite different to what we have to deal with at the low end. A big part of their product is not the routers themselves but the whole enterprise infrastructure with remote support, InControl, SpeedFusion etc. I'm not surprised that they won't commit to whether or not the FMCA plan will work.

You and I messing around with a single router in an RV is just not worth them bothering with. I guess that's the dealers' job but the quality of support seems to vary. I have also heard good things about the 5G store. They can probably answer the FMCA question.

I've moved on from Pepwave and somewhat regret buying the MAX BR1 MK2 which will be for sale on eBay when I get back home to NH. That's no criticism of the product at all but a realization that as a technical user I can get something better, cheaper and more flexible that suits me better.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:18 PM   #14
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+1 not a consumer product

CWSWine, you might try looking up NealM on the forum, I read through a bunch of his threads to educate myself on the pepwave product....I seem to recall that he had tried out virtually every carrier known to mankind in his pepwave gear, he may have some insight on the FMCA sprint product. Worth a try, and if nothing else he has several threads here and elsewhere on pepwave products and reviews to study.

FWIW, I needed a rock solid internet capability in order for my wife and I to full time, so I went with Verizon and ATT for my dual modem router. I hate both companies in equal measure, but they are the big boys in the industry when it comes to coverage, I went with them to insure some coverage no matter which part of the country we happen to be in. Too early for long term results, but so far no issues a few reboots couldn't fix. Good luck sorting yours out!
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